Question: I remember this cartoon in the '70s or '60s where the main character was a flea, I believe, who lived in a matchbox. He would put on these over-sized glasses and become a super-hero with super-strength. Am I losing my mind? I want to say that he was called Fearless Flea or something like that. Michael W.
Televisionary: At the risk of being tiresome (yeah, like I haven't committed that sin in this column before), I'll repeat my usual disclaimer that I'm in no shape to judge your sanity, Michael. But I can tell you that if you are indeed insane, this particular cartoon memory isn't evidence of that.
You're thinking of "Fearless Fly," a rotating segment from the old Milton the Monster cartoon that I, too, watched as a kid. As you say, it related the adventures of mild-mannered Hiram the fly, who, after donning his special glasses, got his antennae all in a twist and transformed into the buff Fearless Fly. When our hero wasn't doing battle with his usual nemesis, the Fu Manchu-like Dr. Goo Fee, he chilled at the sugar bowl with gal-pal Flora Fly and their buddy Horsey.
Milton, for his part, was a smokestack-headed, sweet-natured monster (think Gomer Pyle) who was an awful disappointment to his evil creators, Professor Weirdo and Count Kook. Because they'd added too much tincture of tenderness when they created him, he was a lovable sort instead of the evil terror they'd intended to produce. Other segments on the Milton show, which ran on ABC's Saturday-morning schedule for three years beginning 1965 and in syndication after that, included "Stuffy Durma" (a wealthy hobo), "Flukey Luke" (a goofy cowboy), "Penny Penguin" (the name says it all) and "Muggy Doo" (a scam-artist cat).